A Rite of Exorcism
Sometimes creating a poem
is nothing more than a rite of
exorcism, a catharsis by which
you cast out the demons skulking
about your interior landscape,
exiling them to the surface
of a plain, white sheet of paper
where they must remain indefinitely,
doing penance until they manage
to find refuge in the mind of
some other hapless soul.
T-Rex is Alive and Well
(And so is Mr. Faulkner)
While the past can never
be undone, at times
we bury it so deeply
it's no longer visible.
And when that occurs,
we'd like to believe
the event never
happened at all.
Only that's not quite the way
it works. While things may
disappear, be totally forgotten,
they can never be erased
Take Tyrannosaurus Rex;
we know its time
on Earth has long since
come and gone,
But do a bit of digging
and suddenly a passive image
on a slab of stone
comes roaring back to life.
And while deeds, like dinosaurs,
may lie dormant for a time,
as Mr Faulkner put it:
The past is never dead.
It's not even past.
(Howard Brown is a poet and writer from Lookout Mountain, TN, who has published poetry and short fiction in various print and online journals.)
You pull your hair hard, elbows like antlers.
You gasp through your teeth, chest stretching upward like a balloon being buried alive.
Your lungs are filling with hummingbirds and heat.
Your heart is a running boat propeller that has been pulled naked from the water.
You are on a carousel and can't stop.
You are suffocating on the air you’re drowning in.
Breathe in. Through your nose.
Let that chilly wisp crawl through and caress the back of your tongue.
Let your chest fill like a fire hose being woken up by water.
Breathe out. Through your mouth.
Drop your jaw like a drawbridge.
Release that train of fog through the tunnel of your lips.
Breathe in. This has happened before. You have done this before.
Breathe out. You will make it. You always do.
(David Icenogle is a writer and mental health advocate who is influenced by his personal experiences with mental illness.)
To My Stream
Your water flows down the valley to the Tyne
different years, different
you weave through a wild land wooded
you irrigate grazed pastures and copses
fill kettles boiled on charcoal burnt
to fuel ranges in shacks clustered near the ferry
you drive through the mill race swift over stones
to grind wheat to flour
you pour over colliers’ skin in pithead baths
to wash way away the soot and grime
from labour underground
you meander and sparkle through conservation land
reclaimed by trees and birds
small mammals flowers and fresh air
unsullied run again
as when it all began
Invitation to Mine
You might miss the turning, so
take it slow around the bend, turn left
and leave the race behind. Meander
down in your own time. Freewheel
fingers tapping, steer along the spine road,
sink below the valley’s narrow peak,
neck to coccyx, as it were. Arrive, ready
to ring my doorbell. Listen to it chime
through my dark passage. If I do not
answer, use the key hidden in the plant pot
between fronds of bright green ferns
and wake me, drowsy, from my swollen dreams.
Accelerate my newly woken heartbeat,
with a kiss on each cheek and I will boil
water for steamy cups of China tea
to drink with tinned apricots, sleek in syrup
and condensed milk. We’ll have cream eclairs
to lick and eat for afters – if we’re not too full.
Your sightless eyes and wandering mind
show me what I might have missed,
walking quick-step in unsteady shoes.
Your thin skin, your fingers nestled,
and curled in my own unworn hand,
remind me that our shared days
will close, soon before I am full grown.
Down the garden path, you stop and lean
on my strong, young arm. Perfume
lifts, the last white rose of summer,
and woven together in the moment
I guide your hand, outstretched, to touch
velvet, held safe from the thorns.
( Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon- Prior to retirement, Ceinwen was a mental health social worker and practice educator; she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in 2017 and her poems and short stories have been published online and in print anthologies.)
The Fragrant Face of the Rainbow
The prehistoric days I miss.
There is sweetness in my body.
The heaven and the earth are but shadows.
Nay! It isn’t the sun that illuminates things;
My soul has great many eyes
That make tomorrow as transparent as yesterday.
Above the vault of heaven there exist
Great many giant cities of joy,
And each giant seems like another one of my own,
Dissolving my loneliness and sadness.
However, every death is a sunrise
That makes the oblivion of night bloom the asagumoes,
The fragrant face of the golden rainbow
Which makes the heavens fully drunk.
(Translated by Manu Mangattu- Assistant Professor, Department of English, St George College Aruvithura, India)
The Beautiful Space-